A stroll through any forest becomes a
pilgrimage through a green cathedral:
Massive trunks rise like bark-plastered columns
in a living nave; spreading boughs form
groin vaults and fan vaults floating overhead.
And sometimes the din of a boisterous spring rain
assumes the susurrations of fervent prayer,
awakening soft echoes nestled among the branches.
Before long, baptismal blessings cascade
from ecclesiastical elites, leach
through the common clergy and soak
the shadowed penitents within the understory,
a fate accepted in sodden silence.
After the divine deluge comes a
feeling of renewal, waiting
for the drip-drying to end.
Craig W. Steele resides in the countryside of northwestern Pennsylvania, near Lake Erie. When not writing, he's a professor of biology at Edinboro University. In his quest to become a widely-published unknown poet, his poetry has appeared in numerous anthologies, literary journals and magazines, most recently in The Lyric, Mused: The BellaOnline Literary Review, and Wolf Willow Journal, among others, and he continues to write monthly poetry as "The Writer's Poet for Extra Innings online.